Sunday, 26 April 2015

Sunny Days and Auntie May

We have woken this morning to a glorious and cloudless day thanks to strong, gusty winds from the southern parts of the continent.  It's caused the temperature to drop giving a true indication of the impending cooler months, but that didn't stop me this morning from donning an extra layer of clothing and going outside into the fresh air to tend to my garden and do a spot of weeding.  It was while I was on my hands and knees happily soaking up the warm sunshine that I thought of my Auntie May who loved spending time sitting in the sun - albeit with a fresh cup of tea and her latest craft project.  

For anyone who has read the 'About Me' page on my website will know that Auntie May was a very special person in my life.  As a country lady, she never, ever had idle hands.   Her family were priority but she was also very involved in the community and church with activities where baking, sewing and gardening for charity fairs and helping the sick and elderly were commonplace.  She was the epitome of kindness and loved nothing more that a good conversation.  So it came as quite a shock and with so much sadness when Auntie May was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease which subsequently required her being placed into Aged Care.  

Whilst in Aged Care, I continued to send her cards for her birthday (by now I was sending her stitched cards) which my cousins tell me she admired and proudly showed everyone even though, sadly, she couldn't remember me.  It was the brainchild of one of my cousins to display these cards into a framed work of art so it could be placed on the wall and thereby help make her room look 'homey' and something which gave her much happiness.

Now, these designs have come from various sources, some of which I can't exactly recall.

This tulip design was a 'freebie' from a craft magazine and definitely one of my earlier attempts.  The kit included the threads and the pattern consisted of only full cross stitch, backstitch and leaf detail - very straightforward.

I think this dahlia design might have been from a cross stitch magazine and I would've been drawn to the shade variation of the flower and the interesting detail of the leaf edges.  It also looks as though there were a few half cross stitches and by that stage comfortable enough with my work to stitch a signature into the design.

Ahh..the teapot.  If Auntie May wasn't drinking a cup of tea, she had the kettle on boiling ready to make a pot and so I knew that this design would certainly resonate with her.  I believe this pattern was in a tear-out craft section of an old edition of the Australian Women's Weekly.  I just used threads from my limited stash and can remember feeling quite clever that I'd been able to co-ordinate the shading of the colours so well with what I had and I was obviously experimenting with techniques too because around the teapot lid and knob have been stitched small white beads. 

It is indeed a great pleasure to have given Auntie May enjoyment from work that she once derived so much satisfaction from herself.  And I can just imagine she would have scrutinised my stitching rather carefully ..... while sitting in the sunshine and drinking a hot cup of tea, of course.  


'God looks after those who help themselves and God look after those who do help themselves' - Auntie May

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